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Kabob n Karahi

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To make search easier, I am starting a new thread about a place mentioned in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/168932

Kabob 'n Karahi
Cloverly Shopping Center
East side of New Hampshire north of the Safeway in Cloverly
15521 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20905
301-879-0044

I have eaten here twice more since my first post and it is now spot on good. My first meal's potential has blosomed in spades!

Wow

after visit number three I am almost in a food coma and that was from eating less than half of the lamb Kahari advertized as being for 2. Yeah.... 2 linebackers! The Karahi took quite a while to cook and i saw other ordders ebing made. Small bits of meat are piled into an iron wok like bpwl like cooking vessel filled with greens, herbs, onion, ginger and lots of oil. I don't know if they are put into the tandoor or another cooking vessel bnut they are served bubbling and smelling oh so good. You get a small bit of iceberg lettuce, a huge, spot on naan that just borders perfectly crusty and chewy with a bit of char that many a pizzauolo would love to produce. The karahi is dense, very heavily spiced, not hot per se but it has a nose/sinus clearing effect equal to horseradish on gefilte fish without the burn. The pale green chutney is the perfect foil. $17.99 with 60% or so of my order in the fridge as left overs and the total with tip and a mango lassi: $25.

Meal number 2 there was lamb kebob which had a perfect char, almost burnt edge that again the chutney set off perfectly. Kay had a steam table curry with lamb which was good but a little tired (as were we at midnight!) and I think the fresh cooked stuff superior.

Today and old man sitting next to me was raising the bowl of chutney and drinking it between bites of his tandoor chicken. His eyes twinkled at me as I saw his eating style!

These folks are friendly if not exactly restaurant professionals, but they put their love in the food. The pride in their eyes when I staggered to the counter to pay was self evidnet.

If you live in the wasteland that is Silver Spring outside the beltway, please do yourself a favor and go. This is a place that deserves to make it and I think they are struggling in their second month. Remember that they are open late (11pm or midnight during the week, I forget, but 1am on Friday and Saturday).

Ohhhh gosh... must sleep...belly full ... me happy!

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  1. I've only had the opportunity to go once, but the Lamb Kabob dinner I had at Kabob n' Karahi was outstanding. The lamb was very tender and perfectly marinated. Joined by a bowl of amazingly flavorful rice, curried chickpeas, a small green salad, and a "hubcap big" naan that was warm and chewy. The price for my excellent meal came in at under $10.00.

    It looks like almost every day ofthe week they have a couple of special dishes.

    I agree that this place deserves a shot from every Chowhound in the area and I'm eager to get back for more...

    1 Reply
    1. re: MDBBQFiend

      I forgot about the chat- the chickpeas. Soooo good: spicy with the peas themselves cooked till they are on the edge of firm and mushy.

    2. Been there twice with groups of three or four. (We live only a mile away - lucky us). Had the chicken boti kabob, lamb kabob, special combo, kabob karahi, and the nehari, plus pakora, chat, dal, mango lassi, and the veg side. OMG! Wonderful! Big servings, great spiciness and flavor, excellent value. Only downside the general chaos in the place - both times we almost picked up somebody else's order in the confusion. And you do have to wait while they cook - but it's definitely worth it. You hafta try this place. Open 11am 'til midnight everyday and 'til 1 am on Friday and Saturday.

      2 Replies
      1. re: TomOHaver

        Have you ttried the goat? WOW! And the Chicken Seekh Kapbob has great flavor (if a strange texture). But my favorite splurge (all of $13.00 I think) is the lamb chop in the Tandoor.

        1. re: deangold

          Darn! Now I'm going to have to go back and try those. No rest for the overweight.

      2. Ate here today with the kids and must say that all the positive reviews are dead on. The place was empty at about noon and was getting busier as we left. All the food is freshly prepared so the wait was about 20 minutes or so. The appetizers we had (somosas) were pre-cooked (and to die for) and kept us busy while waiting for the main course. All of us had the boneless chicken kabob's with rice and chickpeas and I must admit that its the best Ive had. The nan was out of this world and the place was spotless. The only complaint that I have is they only serve Pepsi products in cans (and you'll need about three of these to tame the fire of some of the items).

        2 Replies
        1. re: ciaoda

          The bone in chicken is even better!

          1. re: deangold

            I'm happy report that this place is still going strong and is as good as always. There is less chaos now because they now number the orders and call you by number. The food is the same as always: great! A hint: to give you something to nibble on while you are waiting for you order to come out, order a "chat samosa"; this is basically a samosa in a bowl topped with chutney sauce and chopped onions and cilantro. It's a taste riot that will help prepare you for the coming onslaught of flavor and spiciness. Not for nothing they have free ice water available.

        2. We are moving to the Aspen Hill area and I thought I'd try this place out yesterday. Manna from heaven!!

          The Chat samosa is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It's a little styrofoam bowl with a layer of samosa, then a layer of potato, chickpea, and peas, topped with a yogurty sauce and freshly chopped onion, tomato, and herbs, sprinkled with sumac. Oh mah gad. Perfectly spiced, perfect melding of flavors and textures. I was fishing out the chickpeas, potatoes, and peas for my 8 month old daughter and she was loudly singing "num num num" as she gummed away at them. This was a meal in itself, and something I will have to order every time I go there.

          I got the lamb kabob and was very happy with it, though could only have a few bites. The char on the kabob was perfect, and the lamb nicely spiced and done. My pieces had a bit of gristle to them, but not enough to deter me. The naan was piping hot and perfectly chewy/crispy, and the chickpea side I selected was divine. How they got their beans so soft and buttery, I don't know. Came with a side salad and raw sliced onion sprinkled with sumac. Raw onion is the perfect grilled meat accompaniment, you must eat them together.

          My hubby devoured the leftovers and emphatically stated that we need to go there together as soon as we move.

          The place is very clean inside, the busboy was very helpful and wrapped my food for me. You order at the counter, then wait for them to wave you over or call your number. The bevs are self-serve from a cooler, and they have free water. Pick up your own utensils, everything is plastic. There are two high chairs.

          This place is a gem. Can't wait to work through the menu, including the dishes you hounds describe.

          Total winner! Thanks to this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/643812 for the recommendation.

          3 Replies
          1. re: venera

            Are you certain the sprinkled spice was sumac? I have never seen sumac used in Pakistani cuisine. On the samosa chat I would guess it was chat masala, but I have no idea what could've been sprinkled on the side salad.

            1. re: bmorecupcake

              I suspect that rather than sumac, the ingredient providing the sour taste was amchoor, which is made from unripe mango. Amchoor is greenish-brown rather than dark red like sumac.

            2. re: venera

              Right on, venera. My feelings exactly. If you go there with your husband, try one of the eponymous Karahis, a kind of spicy stew (for two) served in a wok-like platter. There are several varieties. Wow! Other winners are the chicken bhoti kabob (white meat that is amazingly juicy, tender, and flavorful) and the lamb chops (with little tin-foil handles so you can eat them with your hands). This place will pack everything for take-out, but I prefer to eat in, if only because the naan is so good when it is served piping hot from the tandoori oven. Slather some chick peas on a piece and I'm in foodie heaven.

            3. Had the chance to eat here again yesterday.

              Had the Chat Samosa to start, which is going to be SOP for me. :)

              They were out of all lamb so I ordered the chicken tikka on the bone. WOW. Tender, moist, flavorful chunks of chicken that had a convenient little bone to use as handle. The chickpea side dish was excellent, per usual (how do they get them so soft and buttery??) and the crispy, piping hot naan made it perfect.

              Tried their mango lasshi which is fantastic and HUGE. In fact, I brought half of it home.

              My dining companion had one of the specials of the day, ground meat, peas, and potatoes (Aloo Keema). Very flavorful, it was like a south Asian moussaka. For a side she selected a vegetable dumping in yogurt sauce. Excellently spiced.

              We were both stuffed, took half our meals home, and went home very happy.

              We went at around 2:30 PM, there were no lines or chaos. They now have numbers on your receipt, so I don't think there will be any confusion mentioned in previous posts about orders.

              Must try a karahi next! This place is a Chowhound's dream. Thanks for the tip. Will continue to go here!

              7 Replies
              1. re: venera

                The weekend specials are also very good here. The last time were ate there on a weekend, we tried the "NEHARI", tender beef (or lamb) shank or shortribs in a spicy sauce with fresh ginger. Our goal is to eventually try every item on the menu.

                Their menu is online at http://www.kabobnkarahi.com/our_menu....

                1. re: TomOHaver

                  Make sure you allow some time for the lamb brains. When I tried to order them, they said it would take 40 minutes.

                  Was it their way of saying "you no like?"

                  1. re: Steve

                    Goat Karahi is my favorite. They can spice it up if you like.

                    1. re: fudizgud

                      The goat is tasty but bony. You have to eat carefully because of all the little bone shards.

                      40 minutes to make lamb brains? I think that's their way of saying "they're frozen".

                2. re: venera

                  as to soft & buttery chick peas, i don't know their secret, but cooking them in a regular-fat home-made chicken broth (esp. in a pressure cooker) will do it. or, one can use veg oil or ghee. in any case, it is the fat, my friend, the fat!

                  ~~~~~
                  if you are interested in "deconstructing" some of the complex flavors in the chole, look here http://www.indianfoodforever.com/holi...

                  this too: http://pakistanifoodrecipies.com/?p=4738

                  < for a quickie chaat masala at home, use the shan's mix and this recipe: http://pakistaniat.com/2009/06/17/5-m... >. real easy to do!

                  1. re: alkapal

                    You ROCK, Alkapal! Thanks soooo much for the chaat masala recipe.

                    I have never cooked my chickpeas in fat from start to finish-- always added "gravy" that was made on the side for the chickpeas to finish cooking in. I will have to try it.

                    Next time you're in the neighborhood, I just may have to treat to you lunch at this place for your excellent cooking tips. ;)

                    cheers!

                    1. re: venera

                      venera, thanks!

                      to be clear, you don't use *only* fat. you cook the chickpeas in a regular chicken broth (a home-made broth that has natural fat from stewing the chicken), and that will be enough fat (even if you have removed *some* of the fat -- 'cause a chicken will give you lots of fat, released from the skin).

                      the key is cooking the beans in broth with at least some fat. as the beans absorb the broth and fat, they soften outside and inside, but don't break down into mush. i've never had the beans turn out as perfectly silken when using just water to cook the beans. and, generally, a pressure cooker makes the perfect beans.

                      and do try those shan's mixes. they are pretty darn good, authentic and save one heckuva lotta time and hassle. i have all the spices used in these recipes, but sometimes (and that is getting to be more often, unless it is a special occasion), i am quite pleased with using shan's. be mindful, the mixes can be hot! so be sure and use enough meat or beans (whatever the protein) to "match" the amount of spice. or start out "half-strength" to test the flavors.... the downside is that they tend to be salty (esp. if not "diluted" enough). so, if you are mindful about sodium, do your own blends....

                      ~~~~~~
                      ps, venera, come on over to the home cooking board; we love to talk about making food! ;-).

                3. Happy that this thread was bumped up today, since I saw it and managed to stop there on my way home from DC today. In a word: amazing. And, the only criticism I have is that it's so far away (from me, or anywhere that I'd usually go). Wow.